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Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)
To receive for approval the minutes of a meeting of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2 of the 10 10 19
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of the Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 dated 10th October 2019 be approved as a true and accurate record.
Susan Cooper, Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing
Councillor Phil White, Cabinet Member – Social Services and Early Help
Councillor Dhanisha Patel – Cabinet Member – Future Generations & Wellbeing
Jackie Davies, Head of Adult Social Care
Laura Kinsey, Head of Children's Social Care
Christopher Morris, Finance Manager – Budget Management: Social Services and Wellbeing / Chief Executives
The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing presented the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-21 to 2023-24 which set out the spending priorities of the Council, key investment objectives and budget areas targeted for necessary savings. The strategy also included a financial forecast for 2020-2024 and a detailed draft revenue budget for 2020-21.
The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing outlined the provisional settlement from Welsh Government and reported that there had been a real increase of 4.57% or £8.878 million. Whilst this was a significant improvement compared to the “most likely” assumption, it did not recognise a number of new pressures that the Council would have to meet.
The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing highlighted the Draft Revenue Budget 2020-21, the Usable Earmarked Reserves and the Budget Pressures for 2020-21. She also outlined the Budget Reduction Proposals as listed in appendix B to the report.
A member asked if an issue crossed more than one directorate, were staff primarily concerned with only what related to their directorate. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing explained that there were a number of overlaps eg. Early Help was managed in Education however it was inextricably linked to LAC. However, the authority had one approach, no matter where an issue sat. The Cabinet Member Social Services and Early Help added that there was a similar crossover with other Cabinet Members and the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations was in attendance for this item. Another member stated that she supported cross directorate working however she was concerned that there could be some areas that did not get the attention they deserved.
A member asked if there were problems with the referral system and in particular, incorrectly allocated referrals that took a long time to be acknowledged. The Head of Adult Social Care explained that some referrals came through the common access point where they were prioritised based on need. On the whole there was a strong process in place for member referrals and most responses were made within the appropriate timescale. If they were going to take longer an acknowledgement was sent.
The Head of Children’s Social Care explained that all referrals in her area came through MASH. The police were involved in referrals of a serious nature and if necessary, meetings were set up including all partners and a decision made within 24 hours. The authority had a 100% success rate with that indicator.
A member asked if there was any trend when it came to sickness statistics and the financial implications. The Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing explained that sickness was an issue however during the last quarter there had been an improvement. This was a service providing a high level of personal care and when a staff member was sick, they had to be replaced with a direct impact on the budget. The remodelling of services had also had an impact on sickness levels however it was hoped that given time, this would improve. Staff ... view the full minutes text for item 104.
The Scrutiny Officer presented a report on the Forward Work Programme.
Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2 were due to receive the Home to School Transport report on 5th February, Transformation Grant on 5th March 2020 and Remodelling Children’s Residential Services in April.
The Scrutiny Officer explained that there could be a problem with the availability of the Corporate Director Social Services and Wellbeing for the 5th March meeting and she would advise at the next meeting, if they needed to change the date.
The Committee asked that a representative with planning and LDP experience be invited to the meeting when Home to School Transport was discussed.
To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in
accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.